1984 - Volume #8, Issue #5, Page #30[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Make Wash Water Do Double Duty
"You'll get by on about 50% less household water than you're now using," promises South Dakotan Paul Redfield, of Madison, who has developed an amazingly simple system for recycling gray water (waste bathtub and laundry water) which has been successfully proven in the Redfield family's country home.
Here's how it works:
Waste wash water is pumped, via the built-in water pump in the wash machine, to a 55 gal. plastic "gray water" tank. Gray water from the upstairs bath also drains, via gravity, into this tank.
Mounted on top the tank is a small (1/20 hp) magnetic drive pump made by Gorman-Rupp. Pushing the "flush" handle on the toilet activates the pump's pressure-activated switch. It kicks in to pump the toilet tank full of gray water, then automatically shuts off again until the next flush.
The gray water storage tank, is equipped with an overflow so, if full, overflow gray water automatically bypasses the tank and goes into the regular septic or drain system.
If there isn't enough gray water in the storage tank to keep the toilet flushed ù such as when there's lots of company present ù a built-in float automatically lets in however much fresh water is needed to meet the demand for toilet flushing.
Each time a flush occurs, water inside the gray water tank is automatically circulated and stirred up (via a suction line which extends almost to the bottom) to prevent any buildup of sediment. A filter in the "gray water" line leading to the storage tank removes lint, dirt and other debris.
In addition to saving water, Paul's Resource Recovery System also helps reduce the cost of heating water. He diverted the water line leading to his water heater so it coils around inside the gray water tank. Any heat contained in warm wash and bath water coming into the tank is "exchanged" to help preheat cold fresh water before it gets to the water heater.
Paul estimates that his Resource Recovery System, which is designed to meet standard codes, could be installed in most existing farm or city homes for less than $300, including both parts and labor. He welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate it to interested visitors.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Redfield, P.O. Box 50, Rt. 2, Madison, S. Dak. 57042 (ph 605 256-3431).
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